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Art Gallery of NSW

Home > Sydney > Art | Galleries
by Emma Brown (subscribe)
I'm a freelance journalist and public relations consultant specialising in arts and entertainment.
Published August 19th 2010
Enter the world of art, take a tour of the globe, explore different cultures, landscapes, histories, virtual worlds, meet characters, expand your imagination and go on a personal journey at the Art Gallery of NSW.

Brett Whiteley's massive sculpture "Almost Once" of a burnt and a live matchstick, believed to represent masculinity and femininity, marks the spot of Sydney's premiere art space to eastern distributor traffic.

Australia's most prestigious cultural institution holds over 30,000 works of art in the permanent collection. Many of the works are rotated along with visiting and thematic temporary exhibitions.

The Australian collection displays icons of Australian art from the late 19th century and explores the changing perceptions of Australia through paintings, sculptures and works on paper including artists Grace Cossington Smith, Sidney Nolan and Russell Drysdale.

The Yiribana Gallery is dedicated to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and features special exhibitions, works include traditional bark paintings by Spider Namirrki Nabunu 'Mimih Ceremony' to contemporary photographs, sculptures and installations by indigenous artists.

The Asian collection, with its peaceful and serene mood, explores the artistic traditions of South East Asia including early Chinese tomb figure art, Japanese screens and Indian, Buddhist and Hindu sculpture.

Works by modernist artists such as Braque and Picasso can be found in the European collection which houses paintings from the 15th to the early 20th century.

The photography collection, consists of some 4000 works from early examples to the most contemporary including Fiona Hall, Tracey Moffatt, Bill Henson and Max Dupain exhibits.

The peak time to visit the gallery to spot famous faces with interesting and expressive versions of them is at the Archibald Prize.

The finalists and winner of the $50,000 portraiture prize are exhibited from March to May each year. The prize is one of Australia's oldest and most prestigious art awards for "preferentially of some man or woman distinguished in Art, Letters, Science or Politics." 2010's winner was Sam Leach with his portrait of Singer/songwriter Tim Minchi.

The Packing Room prize is awarded to the best work according to the gallery staff who unpack and install the entries. The public also has the opportunity to vote for their favorite, the artist and the selected voter will both win a cash prize.

The Archibald is held in conjunction with the Wynne Prize for the best landscape or figure sculpture and the Sulman Prize for the best subject, genre painting or mural project by Australian artists.

Being chosen to exhibit in ARTEXPRESS is a great honour for HSC Visual Arts students to display their major art works.

Stephen Vitiello: The Birds by US sound and media artist was installed at the entrance to the gallery, based on Daphne du Maurier's story of the same name to 'catch a listener by surprise as if there is suddenly a spoken voice or singing bird whispering in one's unsuspecting ear'.

Click here to see exhibitions coming to the gallery.

myVirtualGallery allows you to create your own exhibition, using artworks from the allery's collection on your computer.

If you imagine the gallery as a place where pseudo intellectuals whisper about meanings of important works you will be pleasantly surprised to see that it is children friendly. The Gallery Kids program offers free performances on Sundays and public holidays from 2.30 pm, school holiday workshops, Tours for Tots, Kids Audio iPod Tours and Art Club workshops.

Some more images of the gallery:
Picture 1: Black and white historical image.
Picture 2: interior view of the Art Gallery of NSW.
Picture 3: Grand entrance to the Art Gallery of NSW.
Picture 4: Tezuka - the marvel of manga exhibition at the AGNSW.
Picture 5: Brett Whiteley's sculpture "Almost Once".
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Why? Explore other worlds and take a journey within
When: Every day between 9am to 5pm (Open till 9pm on Wednesdays) except closed on Easter Friday and Christmas Day
Where: Art Gallery of NSW, Art Gallery Road, The Domain, Sydney
Cost: Free entry, admission charges apply to some exhibitions from $7 concession and $10 adults
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